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Post written by Cole Ammons '19:

This trip is one that I've been looking forward to for many years, and it's been very enjoyable so far.

Today, we started off the day by climbing a short, but steep section of the Great Wall. While doing this, we learned the true value of perseverance, as we climbed towards better views, our legs all the while telling us to turn back. After that, we went to lunch at a cloisonné, a place where they make vases and other objects out of copper and enamel. Next was the Temple of Heaven, and finally, for dinner we had Peking duck.

I am one of the few black people in China right now. It is clear, through statistics alone, that China is, as a whole, ethnically homogeneous. It's still been surprising to me, because even though we are going to many of the most famous landmarks here in Beijing, a vast majority of the people at the site have, presumably, been native Chinese. This may be accounted for by the fact that this isn't a widely accepted "break" from work and schools, but the number of out of country tourists still seems low. Going up the wall today, and again at lunch, we ran into a group from South Africa, and one of two groups of black people I have seen so far on this trip. As such, I feel very fortunate to live in America, where a visible percentage of the population looks like me and can understand where I'm coming from.